SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 60.00
ECTS Credit Points 30.00
Module Code MMN224136
Module Leader Christopher Smith
School School for Work Based Education
Subject SCWBE
  • A (September start)-B (January start)
  • B (January start)-C (May start)
  • C (May start)-A (September start)
  • S-C (May start)-A (September start)
  • A (September start)-B (January start)-C (May start)

Summary of Content

This module aims to allow the student to develop an understanding of research methods and develop a relevant and useful work based research project. The module will require the application of qualitative,quantitative or mixed methods research strategies in a work based setting or in a project of significance to their organisation or practice. As part of this process the modules will raise student's awareness of ethical and legal concerns related to research undertake in one's own workplace. The module will provide students with a sustained opportunity to conduct enquiry-based research with the purpose of developing, consolidating and demonstrating research skills, the output of which is an individual 15,000 word project (excluding appendices), or output with appropriate artefacts and/or negotiated reflective presentation.


The discipline content of the dissertation reflects the named degree undertaken and thus there is no prescribed content. However the aims and objectives of the dissertation must demonstrate detailed knowledge and understanding of the interplay and inter-relationships between the subject areas and its application to the workplace. Formulating a research proposal (generating research question; research design; reviewing literature) Research design and methodologies in work based contexts (quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods - including action research) Ethics in research (including data protection) Application of research methods and associated data analysis methods (and their limitations)

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module, the student should be able to:1. Justify a research topic and develop aim and objectives that are appropriate, focused, clear and achievable.2. Synthesise a critical review of literature, of established theories, principles and concepts relevant to the research topic.3. Create an overall Rresearch design (and including appropriate research method(s)/approach(es)) to meet the specified aim and objectives.4. Demonstrate skills in the systematic gathering, analysis and interpretation of ideas, concepts and data (primary and/or secondary data).5. Synthesise theoretical and empirical elements in the work and derive valid conclusions.6. Critically evaluate the limits limitations of the research work and identify new areas for future research.7. Critically evaluate the potential application of their project on practice and the workplace.8. Apply appropriate ethical standards to your research.9. Critically reflect on their learning around the project and conducting research.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Students will be expected to draw on academic theories and techniques in order to frame, analyse and solve actual work-based or work-contextual problems. To this end, learning will involve not only formal but informal learning strategies and assessment. This module particularly emphasises the integration of learning and work e.g. the student's assessment may involve them in conducting actual work based analysis and decision making within a work context. The module utilises an interactive lecture programme where students are encouraged to participate and contribute. On-line content will be made available on GCULearn to support students familiarise themselves with relevant research concepts. Students are required to undertake a programme of specified reading for independent learning, and reflect upon relevant practice issues relevant to the workplace. Suitable supervisory arrangements will be put in place to support each student on the specifics of their individual project.

Indicative Reading

Advanced level texts in relevant fields. Research and Professional Journals in relevant fields. Recent conference papers (where available). Websites, electronic search engines, databases,. as appropriate to the specialist topic and area of the dissertation. Academic text on dissertations, such as: Bell, J and Waters, S (2014) Doing your Research Project: A Guide for First Time Researchers, 6th Edition, Buckingham: Open University Press Biggam, J. (2014) Succeeding with Your Master's Dissertation: A Step-by Step Handbook, 3rd edition, Maidenhead: Open University Press Blaxter L., Hughes C. and Tight, M. (2010) How to Research, 4th edition, Maidenhead: Open University Press Brinkmann, S. and Steiner, K. (2014) Interviews, London: Sage Bryman, A. and Bell, E. (2011) Business Research Methods, 3rd edition, Oxford University Press Denscombe, M. (2014) The Good research Guide for small-scale social research projects, 5th edition, Maidenhead: Open University Press Grix, J (2010) The Foundations of Research, 2nd edition, Basingstoke, Palgrave Nutbrown, C. (2012) A Student's Guide to Methodology, 3rd edition, Sage Publications Ltd Punch, K. F. (2014) Introduction to Social Research: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches, 3rd Edition, London, Sage Publication Rugg, G & Petre, M. (2007) A Gentle Guide to Research Methods, Maidenhead: Open University Press Thomas, G (2009) How to do Your Research Project: A Guide for Students in Education and Applied Social Sciences, Sage Publications Ltd Wilson, J. (2014) Essentials of Business Research: A Guide to Doing Your Research Project, 2nd edition, London, Sage Publications

Transferrable Skills

Self-management: self-motivation, time management and critical self-reflection and evaluation of personal performance. Research skills: information gathering using primary and secondary methods, and data analysis. C & IT skills: engaging in a virtual learning environment; using MS Powerpoint and MS Word packages for presentations and report writing; accessing and using industry databases such as FAME, MINTEL, KEYNOTE. Using Refworks software to develop referencing skills, and Turnitin software to improve writing style.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Assessment (PT) 100.00
Tutorials (PT) 20.00
Independent Learning (PT) 480.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 1.00 100.00 50% Written proposal at 4,000 words15000 word report or output with appropriate artefacts and/or negotiated reflective presentation